Amplifying Philanthropy for 2023: 5 Strategies to Inspire Giving in a New Year
As you begin a New Year, it is a valuable time to revisit your fundraising goals and build a stronger culture of philanthropy among your donors, board members and professional team.
Nonprofit leaders must have a forward-thinking vision for the future that drives their strategic priorities. At the same time, they need to invest in their people and an inclusive organizational culture that reflects their values and advances their missions.
Today’s Philanthropic Landscape
The nonprofit landscape is one of continued growth, resiliency and responsiveness. While the economic, social and political events of 2020 have continued to influence the philanthropic landscape, total charitable giving in America remains strong. In fact, $484.85 billion was invested in the philanthropic marketplace in 2021, according to the Giving USA Foundation’s annual report.
The report also indicated that nearly 70% of total giving was driven by individual donors who are committed to addressing today’s most pressing social challenges. As you prepare for the fundraising year ahead, it will be important to focus efforts on the individuals — major donors, board members and professional staff — whose leadership and generosity will shape the future of your organization.
Applying Your Knowledge and Experiences to 2023
How can you apply the knowledge and experiences you gained over the past 12 months to position your organization, leadership and team for a vibrant year ahead?
Here are five strategies to amplify philanthropy for 2023. As you continue to navigate a dynamic environment, these actions will prepare you to build a strong culture of major giving, engage board members as fundraising leaders and strengthen your institutional culture.
1. Communicate a Bold Vision That Meets the Moment
Develop and communicate a case for support that illustrates an inspiring vision for your organization, a compelling rationale for philanthropy and a clear impact. This is a powerful tool to tell your organization’s story and inspire donors to make meaningful gifts.
Your narrative should reinforce the importance and relevancy of your mission and reflect the impact that the past year has had on your ability to carry out your vital work. Complement key facts and figures with personal stories from members of your community. Confidently communicate why a donor should invest in your organization — and why now.
2. Engage Board Members as Fundraising Leaders
Board members are key assets to an organization’s fundraising efforts and play a role in building a strong culture of philanthropy. They are your champions who are building energy around your mission, engaging your community in fundraising events and providing generous financial support.
Leverage board members’ diverse skills and experiences to advance your fundraising activity by inviting them to speak at events, host parlor meetings or facilitate peer-to-peer gift requests. Get to know your board members personally; building strong relationships will ensure they have meaningful experiences and remain engaged for years to come. Don’t forget to recognize board members for their time, leadership and generosity.
3. Prioritize Major Donors to Drive Fundraising Revenue
While the total dollar amount given to charity by individuals has increased, the number of individuals donating has decreased, according to Giving USA. This means that a smaller pool of major donors is shaping the fundraising trajectories of organizations today.
The greatest return on philanthropic investment will be realized through individual major donors who are inspired by your bold vision and have capacity to make the significant gifts needed to reach your ambitious revenue goals. Build personal relationships with these individual major donors and take the time to meaningfully engage them in your organization throughout the year. Their leadership gifts will influence your fundraising success.
4. Leverage Planned Giving for a Sustainable Future
Planned gifts can provide important revenue, especially during uncertain times. They also offer an opportunity for donors to act now while investing in the future of your organization.
Consider creative ways to grow your planned giving program and educate planned giving prospects on the potential benefits of their generosity. Encourage your development team to be intentional about incorporating planned giving into major donor conversations and invite individual prospects to consider blended gift requests (cash plus a planned gift). There is a tremendous opportunity for donors to leave a meaningful legacy today.
5. Invest Generously in Your People and Culture
Nonprofit leaders need to create an organizational culture grounded in the values and intentional practices of diversity, equity and inclusion. To do this effectively, we must invest in our people and culture — recruiting and developing diverse talent, offering meaningful opportunities for professional development and creating an engaged community where employees of all backgrounds feel valued and positioned to thrive. Make 2023 the year you embrace authenticity, promote growth and celebrate excellence.
Inspire Giving in a New Year
Today, we stand ready to embrace new fundraising strategies for the future. Ground your organization in your mission and its relevance. Reaffirm your purpose and the positive impact that philanthropic investments will have on the communities you serve. Invest in your leaders, your donors and your team.
Together, let’s build on what we know, take action to drive progress forward and amplify philanthropy for the year 2023.
The preceding article was provided by an individual unaffiliated with NonProfit PRO. The views expressed within do not directly reflect the thoughts or opinions of NonProfit PRO.
Elizabeth Abel is a senior vice president at CCS Fundraising and expert in philanthropy. In her role at CCS, she has led capital campaigns and development initiatives that have collectively raised half a billion dollars for education, health care, arts and culture, and advocacy organizations.
Elizabeth provides counsel on strategic planning, major gifts fundraising and board engagement. She is an Instructor at the University of Pennsylvania where she teaches “Fundraising and Philanthropy: The Donor Journey” to graduate students in the Nonprofit Leadership Program. Elizabeth has been recognized by BELLA Magazine as a “Woman of Influence in Philanthropy.”
You can find Elizabeth offering her fundraising expertise at industry conferences, on nonprofit podcasts and on social media platforms, including LinkedIn and Instagram. She lives in New York City with her husband and daughter, and she is an avid hiker, traveler and tea drinker.